Wheaton College is a four-year, private liberal arts college with a student body of approximately 1,600. Located in Norton, Massachusetts, between Boston, and Providence, Rhode Island, Wheaton was founded in 1834 as a female seminary, it remained one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States until men began to be admitted in 1988. The trustees officially changed the name of the institution to Wheaton College in 1912 after receiving a college charter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.Wheaton College is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges by various publications. The student-faculty ratio is 11:1 and the average class size is between 15 and 20. It also has a reputation for athletics, ranking as one of the top NCAA Division III institutions in overall collegiate sports programs.HistoryIn 1834, Eliza Wheaton Strong, the daughter of Judge Laban Wheaton, died at the age of thirty-nine. Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton, the judge's daughter-in-law, persuaded him to memorialize his daughter by founding a female seminary.The family called upon noted women's educator Mary Lyon for assistance in establishing the seminary. Lyon created the first curriculum with the goal that it be equal in quality to those of men's colleges. She also provided the first principal, Eunice Caldwell. Wheaton Female Seminary opened in Norton, Massachusetts on 22 April 1835, with 50 students and three teachers.